So you had a Bicycle Fitting that produced a more comfortable and speedy ride? That’s good. But, it’s been awhile and your bicycle doesn’t quite feel the same as it did in previous seasons. There are good reasons.
As human bodies age they change. For a healthy, reasonably fit cyclist, the most typical change is reduced flexibility. You simply cannot easily bend over as far as you could a few years earlier. On your bicycle that means a riding position that was once comfortable is now too aggressive. Your elbows no longer bend easily as you struggle to reach the handlebar. Your neck tends to get “stiff” on longer rides, at least much more than it used to. The likely problem is that, relative to the saddle, the handlebar too low for your current flexibility. Raising the handlebar is the first change to think about followed by bringing the handlebar closer to the saddle.
A typical behavior change for older road cyclists is to ride longer distances at slower speeds than in their younger years. To increase comfort, raising the handlebar is again the first thing to consider. Enjoying the scenery more than the drafting benefit of a fast paceline requires a more upright riding position.
In the other direction, younger riders who gain cycling specific fitness from piling riding season on top of riding season will find increasing core strength, glute strength, etc. will allow them to ride comfortably in progressively more aggressive positions. Lowering the handlebar height, relative to the saddle, and possibly increasing the saddle to handlebar reach are likely adjustments they’ll want to make.
A reasonable guideline you can easily remember is “5 or 20.” Every five years, get at least a Re-Fit session with a Certified Bicycle Fitter. Verify your current bicycle setup is optimal for you and/or make whatever minor tweaks are suggested. Every twenty pounds of body weight, put on or taken off, indicates a significant change in fitness. That’s also a good time to have your bicycle setup looked at by a Certified Bicycle Fitter. Your change in fitness will definitely impact how you sit on your bicycle, either to the positive or the negative.
Visit the BGI Fitting Services web page for detailed descriptions of the Fittings offered and links to the appointment booking process.